Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 304: Christmas Cookies

Today the kiddos and I began the first of the holiday baking.  I didn't take any pictures because I'm trying to simplify.  Less pictures = less to blog about on the family blog.

But it was fun making the cookies together.  Breaking out the cookie cutters and cutting the gingerbread dough.  That was my Joyful Moment.  And then we put some on a few plates and took them around to families from our church that Blake is supposed to visit with each month.  We discussed "service" with the kids at dinner and how this was a service.  Seeing their joy at giving away our cookies was another Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments of giving away delicious yumminess!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 303: Great Tackler

That's me.  That's what I did today.

Last night I sat down and made a hefty list of things I need to do.  Some are somewhat urgent, others just need to be done before Christmas.  And I want to enjoy Christmas, so I want to be organized and get things done before it gets all crazy and stressful.

Last night the list got me a little overwhelmed and things (briefly) were all crazy and stressful.

But I woke this morning with a clear head (and the first night of uninterrupted sleep in ages) and a much happier heart.  Then HH came into the kitchen and asked what he could do to help before taking Sweet P to the bus stop (a help in and of itself).  It was so thoughtful and unexpected it was a Joyful Moment even though I struggled to think of something he could assist with in the short time he had before needing to leave.

Also on the list was bathing and brushing Z.  I haven't really kept up with her shedding problem since I had Baby B (I know) and she was quite smelly after a week and a half without a bath.  Tonight she smells much better and her fur is silky smooth.  That may be the one nice thing about the cold air--she sheds much less and I just might be able to eliminate her shedding problem again with our fabulous Furminator brush.

Wishing you all silky smooth, fur-free Joyful Moments!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 302: Baby B's Joyful Moment

So, this morning was an excellent Joyful Moment because I was able to stop by my grandparents' home and visit with them for a bit before we finished our drive home.  Now that my maternal grandparents have both passed on, I appreciate these two all the more.  And I could tell how happy they were to see us.  And providing someone else with a Joyful Moment always results in one of your own.

Then we hopped in the car and drove for several long hours.  Until we were finally HOME.

And that might have been the best part of the day.  I was carrying Baby B around on my hip as I hurried to get the kids in bed and get the essentials put back in their place, when I realized that Baby B was giggling.  So, I turned and paid attention to him.  He was just looking all over as we went from room to room and giggling with delight.  I guess when you're 7-months old and you're taken from your home for over a week, you begin to think you're never going back.  And he was just so overcome with his own Joyful Moment at being back in a familiar place that he couldn't help but giggle.



Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are just that fun and sweet!  Seriously.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 301: On The Road Again

We're heading home today.  This has been a really great visit with family--one of the best maybe.  But it is such a wonderful Joyful Moment to be heading back to our house.

And tonight we have another Joyful Moment in spending the night with my sweet aunt and her husband as they open their home to us.  And share the leftovers of a yummy Thanksgiving meal!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and never-ending feasts!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 300: Wowzers

Seriously?  300 days?  I can't believe it.  It seems like I just barely hit 100.  Honestly, I'm a little sad that this is coming to a close.  No worries though.  A new idea for a new year of posts is in the works.

Today's Joyful Moment was hearing Baby B laugh.  He's been so sad lately and it's just breaking my heart.  I worry so about this sweetest little baby of mine.  He's still pretty sick, but seems to have turned a corner.  Although, when we took him into a doctor this morning he informed me that he could wind up needing a night in the hospital to receive oxygen and/or it could progress to pneumonia.  Perfect.  But then the doctor agreed with me that it does seem that Baby B is on the mend and most likely won't hit either of those tragedies.  Hearing him laugh again today after mostly being sad all day yesterday was truly music to my ears.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments with adequate amounts of oxygen!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 299: Turkey Bowl

Well, despite an even sicker Baby B, today was still full of Joyful Moments.  HH's family has a tradition to start the day off at the bowling alley and have a bowling competition.  It's his super extended family, so it's fun to catch up with everyone, munch on some breakfast, and watch the competition.  My bowling skills are pretty much non-existent, so I am never even close to contending for the trophy (yes, there is an actual trophy that you get your name on if you have the high score).  But I have fun chucking the ball down the lane and watching everyone else compete.  Getting one strike after several gutter balls (I'm SO consistent) was a bit of a Joyful Moment.

Making my cranberry sauce from scratch and an experimental green bean recipe were also Joyful Moments, especially because they got plenty of rave reviews.  Even The Vegetable Hater brother-in-law liked the beans.  Score!

And then listening to everyone state what they're thankful for was another Joyful Moment.  Sharing my thanks and then pranking everyone that I was pregnant were some more JM's.

And finally came an unexpected Joyful Moment when HH asked if I was wishing I were with my family and I realized that I'd never once had that thought throughout the day.  HH accuses me of having an insatiable appetite for his family, leaving his family feeling a bit slighted, so this was pretty big.  But it's true.  I felt very much at home here with his family today.  So, while I know I would have had a great time with my side of the family, I had one here too.  That hasn't always been the case, but it's what I want, so this was a nice Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all lots of Joyful Moments to go with your turkey!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 298: In Sickness & In Health

Can I just say that Joyful Moments are harder to come by when your sweetest little Baby B is sick, with a high fever and a completely stuffed nose?  Remember how he likes to suck his thumb?  That's awfully hard to do when you can't breathe through your nose.  So sad.  So so so so SO sad.

But today still brought Joyful Moments.  That's hard not to do when you're visiting family.  We left my family today (NOT a Joyful Moment), but we came to visit HH's family (a Joyful Moment).  It's been fun reuniting with his parents and two brothers that are here.  I never had little brothers, so his tend to be sources of Joyful Moments (even though they're not all that little any more).

And another Joyful Moment is anticipating the MANY Joyful Moments tomorrow will bring.  And hopefully, the Joyful Moment of Baby B being able to sleep tonight and waking up sans the fever.  Oh, please, oh please!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and health!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 297: Cheese

Today's Joyful Moment was trying to take photos with HH, Little Sister, and her HH.  Let's just say there were some clothing malfunctions.  Pretty funny!  A lot of good laughter and good times and good goodness.

And now I'm going to get back to them for more Joyful Moments.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments full of good goodness!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 296: Bear Hunt

Every Monday night we have Family Home Evening.  We sing songs, have a lesson on anything from "stranger danger" to gospel principles, sometimes play a game, and have a treat.  It's fun.  It's something the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have asked us to do, so I grew up doing that with my family then and HH and I do it with our family now.

Tonight we did it with my parents and my sister and her family.  Awesome.  And my parents had a special lesson planned about temples and eternal families.  Little M was kind of all over the place, but Sweet P listened and really seemed to be soaking it in.  And that was a Joyful Moment for me as her mother.

After the lesson, we sang a couple fun songs with the kids.  Little M picked "Going On A Bear Hunt".  They both learned it in their preschool class, but I haven't done it in a really long time so I can't ever remember how it goes.  Enter my little sister.  She was a preschool teacher before having her own little baby.  So, she totally knows the song.  There were a lot of Joyful parts of that Moment.  Watching six adults get into the actions in a big way for my two sweeties; watching my little sister really really get into directing it; just letting loose and having fun.  But watching the pure joy on Little M's face was probably the best part.  He was just so happy about the whole thing.  I watched him the whole time and love love loved his face.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments full of big green eyes and fuzzy little tails!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 295: Dairy Farm

Too many Joyful Moments to count today.  Seriously.

But the Moment that my little sister showed up with her super cute family was one of the mo' better ones.  We had a great time approving of each other's wardrobes, visiting, and even sharing our breastfeeding woes.

I love my sister(s)!

Wishing you all milky Joyful Moments!

Don't judge me--I'm suuuuuper sleep deprived.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 294: Meet the Parents

I'm with my parents!!!!!  Seeing their new home!!!!!  Spending all kinds of good times together!!!!!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that require excessive use of !!!!!!!!!!!'s!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 293: Sleepy Time

I had a TON of stuff to do today.  But I was so organized yesterday and today that I got it all done.  Cha-ching!

And get this--I got it done with enough time to spare to take a nap.  I don't think I actually fell asleep, but it still felt good to rest and relax before getting started with the rest of my crazy day.

Making time for naps = Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all sleepy Joyful Moments!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 292: Win-Win

Today was a day full of busyness and frustration.  I knew beforehand that it would be that way (only I underestimated just how much so) and I know what happens to Little M on days like that.  He turns into a bit of a demon.

Is that bad for a mama to type for all to read?

Anyway, bad or not, it's totally true.  And then I'm already in a frazzled state, so I struggle to find the patience to deal with my baby-turned-spawn-of-Satan, and then we really wind up in big mess.  The kind that I have to go in and apologize for when he's sleeping and has returned to his sweet, angelic self.

I try to avoid having those kinds of big messes.  So, this time I took measures to fix things.  My friend is watching two of another friend's boys.  She already has 3 boys of her own.  Only one of these boys goes to school.  Leaving her with 4 boys all 4 and under all day.  Until the 5th gets home from school.  Fun.  So, I called her this morning and asked if I could borrow two of the boys (one hers, one the other friend's--both friends of Little M).  She was, of course, delighted at this plan, as it provided her with a nice reprieve.  I was, of course, delighted at this plan, as it provided a distraction for Little M so he wouldn't realize that I was neglecting him.

Things didn't go quite as planned as far as me being able to tackle my insane to-do list for today during their two hour visit.  But the boys did have a great time and I was able to take care of the other, unexpected business that popped up during that time.  And then my friend came back to pick the boys up and acted as grateful as if I had just sent her to a day spa, or something.  She did get to take a shower, so it was kind of like going to the spa.

A very simple spa.

But her gratitude made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  It's so nice to help others out.  Especially when it helps me too.  I love those kinds of helping moments.  Joyful helping Moments.

Wishing you all Joyful helping Moments where you get to pretend you're serving someone else, when really, you're serving you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 291: Run, Little Man, Run

We were running behind this afternoon when it came time to pick Sweet P up from the bus stop.  So, when I saw the bus rounding the corner, long before we could get there, I asked Little M to run to meet her.  I had Baby B, Z, and high heeled boots--I just couldn't do it.

So, Little M took off in his new Spiderman boots with his unzipped puffy coat flailed out behind him.  The cuteness of that was Joyful Moment in and of itself.  But watching the sweet reunion of these two sibling/best friends was an even greater Joyful Moment.  I am beyond happy that my children are such great friends.  I hope and pray it lasts...

Wishing you all Joyful Moment reunions!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 290: Cha Cha In My Ears

So, I've been having this weird ringing in my ears the last few days.  I pretty much only notice it when all is quiet.  But then every 30 seconds, or so, it's like the ringing does a little "cha cha cha".  Is this normal?  I mean, as normal as ear ringing ever is?

I think I just need to sleep.

But on to the Joyful Moment of the day.  It was actually just a pretty good day all around.  I went to my very first ever PTA meeting.  It was pretty uneventful and ended half an hour early, so I headed to a children's clothing consignment shop to pick up some new snow boots for Little M.  We discovered on Saturday that his were too small and it's supposed to snow tonight (please, don't!).  They didn't have a large selection, so I was thinking I would have to just go to Target and get him some new ones, when I saw a black pair that looked to be about the right size.  On closer inspection I discovered that not only were they the right size, but they were also Spiderman snow boots.

Today's Joyful Moment was when I came home and told Little M about the new boots.  And then told him they had Spiderman on them.  Any of you who know him know just how expressive this little boy can be.  And his face had the most joyous expression and he made this crazed little happy sound and his weird excited laugh and it was great.  $4.50 well spent.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that cost less than $5!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 289: Ssshhh!

Today's Joyful Moment is a secret.  I'll give you a hint:  I'm making something for my sister for Christmas.  And I'm pretty excited about it.  I hope she loves it!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments creating something to be loved by someone you love!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 288: Sinking In

I believe I've mentioned that I teach the 9 & 10 year olds at church.  I try not to and feel that I shouldn't, but the truth is--I struggle with this.  I won't go into that.  What I will go into is the fact that today, I felt that they really responded.  They got excited about what we were learning and discussing.  And it was totally a Joyful Moment.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the center of who I am and what I do.  Being able to help these great kids come to know their Savior a little better is an amazing blessing that I'm very grateful for.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in finally seeing some progress after a whole lot of hard work!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 287: Mixed Feelings

So, the snow managed to bring me another Joyful Moment for me today.  The kids were up and playing in it first thing this morning.  A couple weeks ago I bought them some saucers from Target.  We have a little hill in the backyard.  Perfect.  They had so much fun out there!  And I had my Joyful Moment watching them from inside.  Warm and toasty.

And then my s-i-l called to see if we could video chat with them via Skype.  We've been trying to find a good time for a couple weeks now, but it's challenging when they live on the other side of the world.  But my s-i-l found a time that worked for all of us and we got to visit for a while.  My two nieces are so adorable!  And totally entertaining to talk to.  My kids still don't understand why they were going to bed right after we had breakfast, but it was a Joyful Moment for all of us.

And then Baby B started blowing raspberries for the first time while in the bathtub tonight.  Is anybody keeping track of how often he is responsible for the Joyful Moments I post here?  He is just so stinkin' cute!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments derived from multiple family members all in one day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 286: Give Me Strength

Wanna know what is NOT a Joyful Moment?  Waking up at 2:30 AM to the sound of steady dripping rain.  Inside your house.  The house that you bought because it was newer so you wouldn't have to deal with things like leaks and whatnots.  Hooray.

But I am thankful that it was the door frame to my bedroom so we're actually aware of it and can get it taken care of.

And then I looked out the sliding door tonight and saw snow.  Wow.  There is something magical about the first snow of the season that does make it a Joyful Moment.  But when you live in the North Pole and know that it represents six months of winter yet to come, the Joyful Moment is rather fleeting.

My feet have been like little icicles all day.  I don't ever want to leave my house again "till Spring crept over the windowsill."

Anyway, today's real Joyful Moment was brought to me by my Little M.  We got home from the gym, let Z in and then discovered that she had been traipsing through the very black dirt of the garden in our absence.  Except it wasn't dirt because of all the rain we've been having.  It was mud.  Black mud all over my kitchen floor.  So, I whisked her away to the bathroom (if lugging a big black dog that weighs half as much as I do can be considered "whisking") to wash her paws.

Meanwhile, Baby B was kind of freaking out because he was hungry and tired and needed both of those needs met five minutes prior.  Then Little M comes and asks if he can open the rice rusks we bought for Baby B yesterday.  I realize this is a fabulous idea and tell him to go ahead.  He does so while I finish up with Z and I can hear him in the kitchen talking to Baby B in the sweetest little voice, helping him to be calm and happy while Little M opens his rusks.  So, we give him one to munch on while I get lunch ready. And I offhandedly mention that I now need to mop the floor sometime today.  Little M pipes up with an "I'll do it!"  So, I prepare the mop and he gets to work while I get lunch out.

So, in a very short amount of time, we're all sitting down to eat and I can feed myself and Baby B in peace, knowing that I don't have to mop the floor because Little M actually did a pretty good job.

And then I'm reminded that even though much of the time he is a crazy and sort of challenging child, underneath it all he has a heart of gold.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that don't involve drips at 2:30 AM!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 285: Dapper

I forgot a Joyful Moment again yesterday.  Sweet P's first report card.  They sent a generic letter home the week before telling the parents to expect mostly 3's, meaning the child is meeting expectations.  Sweet P had 1/3 to 1/2 of her report card full of 4's--exceeding expectations.  And then the rest were 3's.  I might be a little bit of a proud mama.

And today's Joyful Moment might have been more of my Mama Pride.  It was chilly today, so Baby B was in need of a hat when we went out.

So fun toting him around while sporting this hat.  No one can pass him by without a comment.  Simply adorable.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that involve a smashing hat!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 284: Ladies

I forgot about a pretty satisfying Joyful Moment I had yesterday.  I made roasted veggies for dinner--and I made up the recipe for them.  HH was more than a little wary when I informed him that that was our main course.  But he has since told me multiple times that it was actually quite good.  And it was!  And, perhaps the best part is that I could feed it to Baby B.  Thumb sucking + baby food = INSANE messiness.  Plus, he doesn't always seem to enjoy baby food.  But he LOVED munching on mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots last night.  And he didn't even need a bib!

Anyway, onto today's Joyful Moments.

I think I've mentioned Visiting Teaching before on this blog.  Basically, it's a program in our church where we check up on each other and make sure everyone is doing okay.  So, a friend of mine and I are assigned to go visit certain women in our congregation.  I'll be totally honest and admit that I've really slacked off in this department since the arrival of Baby B.  I've done it a bit, but not really the way it's supposed to be done and definitely not consistently.  But today we were able to visit two of the three women on our list.  And it was so wonderful.  Because these women are truly my friends and I love spending time with them.  It was uplifting and fun and Joyful!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that don't require bibs!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 283: Overachieved

So, I'll be honest--lately I sit down to post without a clear idea of what to post about.  Simply because life is really pretty stellar right now.  So the Joyful Moments don't stand out in such stark contrast to the rest of life any more.

What I'm trying to say is, I don't know what to post for my Joyful Moment tonight.  Today was just a good day.  Nothing spectacular happened.  I just enjoyed my everyday ordinary life.

But if I had to choose... the Joyful Moment to share would be reminiscing with my HH.  We went out on our very first date eight years ago today.  When I look back at the photographs, we look like young kids.  We've been through a ton since then and I am so grateful that he is the one by my side through it all.

I love my HH!

Wishing you all overachieving days too full of Joyful Moments!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 282: Recipe For Guaranteed Joyful Moments

Yes indeed, my friends, at the end of this post you will find THE recipe.  For my chocolate chip cookies.  I just ate about a dozen of them.  I love them.

But first, today's Joyful Moments.

I ran for TWENTY (20) minutes in my new shoes this morning!  Hooray!  And I could have gone farther, but my feet started feeling hot (I was on a treadmill).  I think it's safe to say, "I have adjusted"!!  I was thinking this would take months, but thanks to some personal coaching from a fabulous friend, I'm good to go!

And the other Joyful Moment I wanted to share was walking/biking/scootering to the park with my kids this afternoon.  Today was a random warm day.  Faaaaabulous!  Since we're about to embark on six straight months of winter, we took advantage.  And it was really fun to get out together and play at the park one last time.  I even sat on the swing with Baby B.  He loved it.  My hips did not.

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for:

Cheryl's Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
Large splash of vanilla
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
2 1/2 C. flour
Chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer.  Add sugars and baking soda and beat until combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Beat in dry pudding mix and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Stir in any remaining flour and chocolate chips.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.  I prefer them baked on an air bake cookie sheet or a baking stone.

The extra vanilla and the pudding are what make all the difference.  Don't be afraid of them!  I love this recipe and kind of feel that they are the best cookies, but am open to alterations, so if you have anything that you do for your cookies that makes them extra special--please share!

Oh, and I don't recommend eating 12 of them even if you bake them small like I do.  It's not good for you.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments from baking these and enjoying deliciousness in its purest form!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 281: Hard Core

We had some friends over for dinner tonight.  The wife is one of my good friends whom I truly admire and try to be like.  And I wanted to get to know her husband better.  Not surprisingly, I really like him too.

We enjoyed a yummy dinner and lots of great conversation.  The kids ate quietly for about 3 minutes and then all vanished to play downstairs.  They had a bit of a rough start because Little M can get a tad wound up when guests come over.  But after a few Time Outs, he remembered to play nice.  And then they all had a great time playing together.  They have a boy about the same age as Little M and the two of them are like two peas in a pod and they just love playing together.  It was so sweet to hear them all giggling (until I realized that the giggles were coming because of a combined effort to tip the couch over!).

Anyway, the whole evening was a Joyful Moment spending time with friends and getting to know them a bit better.  We played "Blokus" and for some reason HH kept saying it was "hard core".  Well, if you've ever played the game then you would probably be wondering what exactly made it hard core.  I still am.  I just love my HH.

And I got to eat one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies!  Joyful Moment!

Wishing you all hard core Joyful Moments!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 280: "This Is Fun"

Whispered Sweet P in the middle of violin practice.

Say what?!

Yep.  Today was a first for us in basically a year of learning the violin--we BOTH had fun!  And though I was already having a Joyful Moment, that whisper made the Moment all the more Joyful.

And we almost didn't even have a practice!  I told her it was time, she said she didn't want to, I felt the anger and grumpies rising up, so I decided to let things go and said, "Fine.  I'm not going to make you practice."  And then she went downstairs and talked to herself for a while.  And I stayed not angry.  Yay me!  She came back up and told me she had a surprise for me.  The surprise was that she had set up all of her violin stuff and was ready to practice!  Joyful Moment!

And then she started things off by playing the best A-scale she's EVER played.  For some reason, she hates playing the A-scale so she always gives it a pretty sorry effort.  But today she did it fantastically well, so of course, I enthusiastically congratulated her on that and that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the practice.  She tried really hard, sounded fantastic, and...


Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are just plain FUN!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 279: Meternity

That's not a misspelling.  That's another one of my new words.  Maternal + Eternity.  I'm not really sure why, I just didn't really know what to title taday's post.

Today was another good day.  I'm learning to keep my emotions in check and then to just roll with it and move on when things get yucky.  I'm pleased with the control I had today.

But my Joyful Moment wasn't related to that.

I can't really describe what this does to me internally.  But I do know without a doubt that on a future day, this photo will make me cry.  It has captured so much of the preciousness that is my Baby B.  His mile-long eye lashes (better seen when this photo is enlarged), his fuzzy head, the furrowed brow as he's concentrating on the little mouse that fell out of his pocket, and those sweet sweet cheeks.  Oh oh oh.  I adore him.

Getting this and about a dozen others of my sweetie, plus a bunch of awesome family pics was totally today's Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that capture the essence of one of the best things in your life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 278: Fearing Optimism

So, today ROCKED.  I just felt so light and easygoing.  And happy.  And it was kind of like one big Joyful Moment.  And it was freeing and beautiful.  And so many other happy adjectives.

But there was a nagging fear in the back of my mind from time to time:  What if...?  What if this doesn't turn out the way I'm hoping it might?  What will that do to me then?  What if I'm wrong?  Etc., etc., etc.

Then HH and I were discussing it a bit at dinner.  I haven't really had a chance to talk things through with him because we weren't really home at the same time at all yesterday.  So, I was sharing a little of my optimism with him when he interjected with those same fears I voiced above.  And I know he was doing it to protect me.  This isn't the first time that I've thought I could "fix" me.  And then when it fails and I get depressed again, it hurts doubly because I'm devastated that I didn't fix anything at all.  And when you get down to it, that's what we're both afraid of with all of those "What ifs".

But it still hurt when HH started saying all of that.  It was like poking a pin in the happy balloon I'd been riding in all day, not popping it, but just giving it a small leak so it couldn't fly as high.  And that really took the fun out of it.

But then I stopped myself because, hello, I'm rising above this.  I can handle challenges.

I knew HH wasn't trying to be hurtful in the least, so I stopped him, too.  I processed for a minute and then I began speaking pretty much as my thoughts were processing and I didn't realize the profundity of it until the words were out of my mouth.  But the gist of it was this:

1.  I'm not expecting to overcome everything in an instant, or a day.  It took years to get here, it will probably take years to get out.

2.  I'm not expecting to never have bad days, rough patches, or even bouts of depression.  I am expecting to change who I am underneath it all.  I'm not going to be a depressed person just having a good day.  I'm going to be the happy, easygoing person that I used to be.  Life is to be enjoyable, not a chore.

3.  (This was the real Aha Moment)  So, what if it doesn't work out the way I'm hoping it will?  So what if this ends up being one big flop?  What will happen?  I'll probably be depressed.  Why is that something to be so afraid of?  We can handle that.  It's not fun or ideal, but still--so what?  Being afraid of that is a ridiculous reason to avoid being optimistic right now.  Especially when that optimism has made all the difference in my outlook today and for life in general.

So, we have two choices:  1.  Optimism and happiness, with a potential for depression  Or, 2.  Pessimism and crankiness, with certain depression.

It seems simple when I put it like that, but I think we face a similar choice frequently without realizing it. We give up the better choice because we're afraid of things not being as good as we want them to be.  Who cares?!  Choose the good and enjoy it for as long as it lasts.  This is life, so the bad probably isn't going to disappear regardless.  Why not let happiness and in as much as possible?

Today was awesome because I found HOPE and that was incredibly empowering.  I refuse to let the fear of anything (leastwise the depression that I know so well) keep me from that.


The End.

For tonight.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and the power to choose optimism.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 277: From Simple to Profound

At lunch today I had a pear in the perfect stage of ripeness.  It was just soft enough to be sweet and juicy, but not at all mushy.  And it was a delicious Joyful Moment.  And I thought that would be it for today.  I mean, not my only Joyful Moment, but the one I would choose to share here.

But a discovery was made yesterday with my counselor that has caused me to do some serious contemplating and soul searching.  Actually, stuff has been going on for a while that's been causing me to do this.  Remember a month or so ago when I said I was having a bit of an identity crisis?  Well, bit by bit things have been coming together.  It's been amazing really.  I seem to keep talking to just the right person at just the right time, or reading just the right article or just the right book at just the right time, or in today's instance, just the right chapters of scripture at just the right time.  And I know I've been guided to each of these things as I have been ready to hear them and understand.

So, it's like I've been working on this puzzle for a while now, receiving piece after piece, but unsure of how they all fit together.  And today, everything clicked and now I can see the big picture.  A lot of it deals with some things that feel too personal for me to share, so I won't explain it all here.  Basically though, I'm going to be making some major changes in most areas of my life.  For example, HH was SUPER excited when he came home and saw the cookbooks I checked out of the library--The Mediterranean Vegan, for one.  And if you know my HH, you know that he wasn't really excited in the least.  But at least he is supportive.

Anyway, so all of these changes are a bit much because it is sort of drastic (changing our diet is only one little puzzle piece) and it will take a loooooong time to really incorporate everything, BUT... today I felt hope for the first time in years that maybe I don't have to battle depression my whole life.  The hope that maybe getting back to the happy, easy-going demeanor I possessed up until my early twenties is not an impossible dream.  Maybe I can be me again.  And that is a Joyful Moment that I can't really even describe.  Amazing is the best I can do for now.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out.  But for now, I already feel lighter.  I even initiated a spontaneous dance with HH when I walked in from Sweet P's violin lesson to discover him and Little M rocking out to "Life Goes On".  Now that is progress, my friends.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments of the life changing variety!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 276: Siiiiick

Today I was pretty ill.  So, my Joyful Moment arrived in the form of HH stepping in and taking over everything once he got home.  He even told me a bedtime story because I was so sick and in pain it was hard to fall asleep.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and good health!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 275: My Inner Child

We didn't get a single Trick-or-Treater last night.  It might have something to do with the fact that we didn't turn the porch light on.  But then again, we don't have many kids on our street.  Kind of weird to not get a single one, though.

Anyway, today's Joyful Moment was being a kid with Little M.  He decided to wear an eye patch that he got at our gym's Halloween party last week when we went to the gym this morning (I "pranced" for 12 minutes in my new shoes!!!).  And after the gym we decided to check out the Halloween clearance at Target.  Well, he was still wearing the patch, so we decided to be pirates.  We talked like pirates all the way there and halfway through the shopping trip, but then we reached the Halloween aisle and we both forgot that we were pirates.  But still, it was fun while it lasted.

Then after lunch I turned on the Sugar Free All Stars for him, so he wouldn't be lonely while I showered.  After I was out and dressed, I heard him singing along, so I came in to join him.  The last song involves a lot of instructions to move around in all sorts of ways (i.e. spin around, do jumping jacks, jump, run in place, etc.).  We did that together and had a blast!

I'm not the best at playing with my kids.  It's just not my strong point.  So, I'm not sure what happened today, but I'm glad it did.  It was the source of several Joyful Moments, the best of which was creating Joyful Moments for my Little M.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments playing with your inner child (and if you're lucky, a cute outer child as well)!